Bob The Drag Queen is a ball of energy, and he demands attention anytime he walks into the room. You may recognize him as the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, conquering the eighth season where he made history as the first black Drag Race queen to hit over one million followers on Instagram. And it’s been up ever since.
A true definition of a multihyphenate, real name Caldwell Tidicue, Bob is far more than just a drag queen – he’s a comedian, actor, activist, and music artist. Most recently, he released his single and visual for “Bitch Like Me”, holding fans over until the arrival of his highly-anticipated next release, “BLACK”, which available now on streaming platforms.
In his own words, “BLACK” is “a song that’s about being black. … I cried the first time I watched this video, I went through a journey and I spent a lot to make it happen. Not just cost wise, but also energy and also I was so excited to have a majority black crew. So I’m so so proud of this video.“
“I got to work with Ocean Kelly again, and Basit who is an amazing, phenomenal artist. I met them through Instagram, and just by way of living in New York. Beautiful voice, bodacious booty! If you watch the video for one thing, watch it for their booty haha.”
“It feels like a celebration of being black and queer, and not worrying about how we’re perceived by other people.”
“I feel like growing up blackness and queerness was through the straight male gaze. And if I was going to black and gay, it had to be defiant. But this is just about existing, and it involves black queer people being in charge.”
On the acting tip, Bob is excited as ever to be hosting HBO’s Emmy-winning and first unscripted show, We’re Here, where Bob and fellow drag queens Eureka O’Hara and Shangela recruit locals to participate in one-night-only drag shows. The goal is to inspire their “drag kids” to express their real, authentic selves in front of their families, friends, and peers.
In addition to “BLACK”, Sheen spoke with Bob the Drag Queen in downtown Los Angeles to discuss his roots, the inspiration behind “Bitch Like Me”, working on We’re Here, his fashion sense, buying his mom a house, and more!
What part of Georgia are you from?
I’m from all over Georgia. I’m from Atlanta, I’m from Columbus, I’m from LaGrange. I moved a lot as a kid. I was born in Columbus, Georgia and was raised in Atlanta, Georgia.
So you got the Southern hospitality in you?
Well no, I don’t have any of that. [laughs] I was also raised in Alabama and Mississippi, but I do not have any southern hospitality at all. [laughs] I barely have my southern accent anymore. So no, I do not have the niceties that come with being a southerner. Somehow, that all escaped me.
What brought you to Los Angeles?
I moved here during the pandemic from NYC where I lived for 12 years. During the pandemic people were fleeing the city and I thought, It’s time for a change!
Oh wow, do you miss it?
Sometimes, yeah. I do miss New York City, but sometimes not. I don’t really get attached to places, to be honest. I’ve never really been super attached to anywhere that I’ve lived. I’m always willing to get up and move again.
Have you been doing music this whole time?
I started dabbling in music when I was 25. I’m 36 now, so it’s been about 11 years at this point. I released my first song 7 years ago, which was a really fun experience for me. I’ve always loved rapping – I do it with my friends, and I used to do it in the school courtyard in high school. A lot of rappers hail from Clayton County, where I’m from; Latto, Waka Flocka Flame, Michael Montana, just to name a few off the top of my head … I guess now I’m one of them.
Is this a good time to ask what you think of Latto and Nicki Minaj?
I hate that the girls in rap fight, and they feel they need to be compared to each other. I always try to be really aware of stan culture, and we have to stop — I was saying this online. Honestly, when you see these Instagramers, these TikTokers, these rappers that you love, don’t go hard for them because you can’t vouch for these people. You don’t know these peoples’ behavior: who they are, how they are, and why they are. It’s hard to be objective in those situations.
Talking “Bitch Like Me”, bring us back to when you recorded this one.
I recorded this one in Atlanta. My friend Ocean Kelly helped me produce this song, he’s so, so very talented. It was really a lot of fun to do, and the video was a blast to make; it’s a vertical TikTok-style music video and I am extremely proud of my lyrics to it. I think one day I’m going to do a breakdown of my lyrics on my Youtube page, so everyone can appreciate how brilliant the song really is.
What was the best part of shooting the music video?
The fact that the video is a real nod to TikTok culture is really special. Specifically, how the video loops and starts over seamlessly is definitely one of my most favorite parts.
What is it you want your fans to take away from the record?
To have fun! Some of my music leans more heavy, while some songs are more light. I don’t really make music with a specific intention of what people should experience, and don’t want to dictate what people get out of it. Rather than saying “you need to learn this”, I choose to express myself and say how I feel, and it resonates with everyone differently. Sometimes I feel goofy, sometimes bitchy, sometimes c**ty, sometimes fierce .. and sometimes I’m more in my activist bag.
What’s wrong with a Kmart dress?
[laughs] I have two songs that make fun of Kmart dresses … I don’t know why I make fun of Kmart so much, I don’t think I even own one! Kmart’s are dead and gone, so really I’m kicking a dead horse at this point. I’m sure there’s some Gen Z who’s reading this like, “what’s a Kmart?”
How important is it to represent the LGBTQ community?
Representation is really important. It’s insanely true, and it feels very profound to be able to make music for people who feel underrepresented. Hopefully, they can see themselves in my art.
Talk about how it felt to win the eighth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Congrats!
Thank you. At the time, it felt very nice. It still feels nice. When I won Drag Race, there had only ever been 9 people who had won the show – 8 original franchise winners, and one All Stars winner. Now, there’s almost 40 winners of Drag Race. So the sorority is starting to feel less prestigious. [laughs] However, I am proud that I’m one of the really early winners.
Did you know you’re going to win? What was your mindset throughout the whole thing?
I always thought that I had the capacity to win. There are a few moments where I wavered, like “can I win this?”, because competition gets to your head, but when they called me, I knew I could do it.
Well, about that – everyone has things that they’re confident about, and confidence shifts a bit, too. For every person that feels like they can go to work today, and nail it, someone else thinks today is the day they might get fired. For whatever reason, in this particular realm of my life, I was very confident.
What does it mean to host the HBO show, We’re Here?
It’s hard to precisely sum-up what it means to work on We’re Here. For three seasons, we’ve been touring so many different places and telling countless, important and moving stories. It’s a fantastic show that I really think everyone should watch and will love. There’s nothing and no one quite like it, or us, on TV.
Talk about your Sibling Rivalry podcast.
Sibling Rivalry is my podcast I started with Monét X Change 5 or 6 years ago now. Monét and I were having these really silly, hilarious phone conversations regularly and I thought to myself, someone needs to hear our chats! Luckily, we have a couple hundred thousand people who agree!
I saw your post about being able to buy your mom a house.
That was really great. When I was a kid, I promised that I’d buy my mom a house. I made it closer to 40 than I wanted to be by the time I did it, but we don’t always reach our goals in the time span we set for ourselves. I’m just glad that I was able to do it. My mom has some mobility and health issues, so being able to provide her with a place to live that perfectly suits her needs feels extremely rewarding.
How would you describe your fashion sense? Love your jacket!
Thank you. My boyfriend alway says he hates this jacket. I’m like, how could you hate it? It is a white leather jacket, with these metal rings going up and down the sleeve in the shape of a cross so you can see some skin. I’m definitely a millennial, and I don’t apologize for it. I certainly dress a little bit more queer and androgynous than some people do, but it all depends on the day.
Today, I’m wearing jeans, a t-shirt, a leather jacket and some Tamisha IMAN tennis shoes. Some days, I wear a dress and a big hat, and massive earrings. It all depends on how I’m feeling on the day, how much time I have to get ready and where I’m going.
Do you have any goals for yourself?
Of course, but nothing that’s super rigid where I feel like it has to be this or nothing else. Buying my mom a house was a big goal of mine, and I have plenty of other things I want to achieve: creating opportunities for people like me who maybe don’t have as much access as I do, making more music, and making people laugh, those are all big goals.
Anything else you’re excited for?
“BLACK” drops today, November 4th and I couldn’t be more excited about it! In addition, season 3 of We’re Here, our Emmy-winning show on HBO, is back for season 3 on November 25th!